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September 15, 2011 7:03 AM
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"The Last Rites of Joe May" To Open Chicago International Film Festival

"The Last Rites of Joe May" will open the 47th Chicago International Film Festival.

The 47th Chicago International Film Festival has announced that Joe Maggio's "The Last Rites of Joe May" will open this year's festival. The film was made in Chicago, and features Dennis Farina as an short-money hustler undergoing a late-life crisis.

""The Last Rites of Joe May" represents the best of Chicago filmmaking, featuring outstanding Chicago actors, led by a commanding, nuanced performance from Dennis Farina, and steeped in colorful characters and the neighborhood flavor of the city,” said Mimi Plauché, the Chicago International Film Festival’s Head of Programming.

Opening night will be held at Harris Theater in Millennium Park in Chicago on October 6th.

Full press release below:

CHICAGO FILM TO OPEN 47th CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WITH THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY

CHICAGO, IL—Cinema/Chicago today announced that the 47th Chicago International Film Festival will officially open with THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY, showcasing a tour-de-force performance from longtime film and Chicago theater actor Dennis Farina (GET SHORTY, SNATCH, MIDNIGHT RUN). Acclaimed indie director and Festival veteran Joe Maggio will walk the red carpet with Mr. Farina and actors Gary Cole (OFFICE SPACE, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) and Jamie Anne Allman (“THE KILLING”, THE NOTEBOOK) to present the Chicago Premiere of the film at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park (205 E Randolph Street—Chicago) on Thursday, October 6th 2011 at 6pm, with the official presentation to begin at 7pm. Additional surprise guests will be announced.

“THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY represents the best of Chicago filmmaking, featuring outstanding Chicago actors, led by a commanding, nuanced performance from Dennis Farina, and steeped in colorful characters and the neighborhood flavor of the city,” said Mimi Plauché, the Chicago International Film Festival’s Head of Programming.

Said director, Joe Maggio, “"Before I even made my first film, I remember thinking of all the great filmmakers who had premiered at the Chicago Film Festival, and dreamed of showing a film there. Now to be selected as the opening night film - it's a tremendous honor. It's especially gratifying to be returning to Chicago, a city that showed us so much generosity during production and really made the whole film possible."

“As a major Chicago institution, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival is proud to showcase a production of Steppenwolf Films, which is of course associated with Chicago’s renowned Steppenwolf Theater Company. With this opening night film, we also want to celebrate the vitality of Chicago’s filmmaking community. This year’s Fest will feature a diverse selection of features, shorts and documentaries shot in Chicago as well as conversations with those Chicago artists who have left their mark. We are bringing to Chicago what the world is watching. And the world is going to be watching us for the two weeks of the Festival,” said Michael Kutza, Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival.

Opening Night of the 47th Chicago International Film Festival is sponsored by presenting partner Columbia College Chicago and evening partners American Airlines and Lincoln. The full line-up of films programmed to screen at the 47th Chicago International Film Festival will be announced on
September 19, 2011.

ABOUT THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY
Despite all evidence to the contrary, aging short-money hustler Joe May (Dennis Farina) always believed he had a glorious future ahead of him. Now in his sixties, Joe is released from the hospital after a long battle with pneumonia and is forced to confront the harsh reality of his legacy: everyone he knew had assumed he was dead, and life had gone on around him without missing a beat.

Returning to his old neighborhood, he finds his car gone, all his worldly possessions pawned by his landlord, and the apartment he’s lived in his entire adult life rented out to single mother Jenny and her eight-year-old daughter Angelina. Joe reluctantly moves in with the new tenants of his home.

Even as Joe doggedly pursues his comeback, he finds the odds stacked drastically against him. Joe’s one lifeline is his burgeoning friendship with his co-tenants. So when things turn ugly between Jenny and her boyfriend, Joe is determined to take a stand for his unlikely new family, and perhaps take one last shot at redefining his legacy.

THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY will be released by Tribeca Film. Written and directed by Joe Maggio the film stars Dennis Farina, Jamie Anne Allman, Meredith Droeger, Ian Barford, Chelcie Ross, and Gary Cole. It is produced by Stephanie Striegel and Bill Straus in association with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Films.

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